Charlie escapes from prison. After rescuing a girl and her mother from drowning, Charlie is invited to their home where a big party is held and he is treated like a hero. However, as a result Charlie's photo is printed in the newspapers and the prison guards come after him. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
All good things come to an end, and when that good thing was Charlie Chaplin's tenure at a studio, it tended to come to an end in style. This was Chaplin's last picture for Mutual, and his second studio finale to have the apt if disparaging theme of the little tramp's escape from the long arm of the law.
But really, the man-on-the-run angle is just a bit of trivial cheekiness. This is not one of Chaplin's great story pictures. Instead, he appears to be simply having a bit of fun with his last fling at Mutual. The Adventurer consists of a varied series of escapades, linked loosely by the narrative, but all of which could easily have come from another picture or even been expanded into a short in their own right. So we move from Charlie the fugitive to Charlie the rescuer of drowning women, to Charlie the party-crasher and so on. And yet The Adventurer is not vague or bitty. Instead this is perhaps Chaplin's most flowingly funny picture to date. The comic now had the professional ease of a seasoned acrobat, and here he reels off the gags with an almost casual comedic agility.
Supporting Charlie here are the usual familiar supporting players Edna Purviance, John Rand, Albert Austin, Henry Bergman all of whom would follow him to his next stable, First National. And yet these are all in relatively minor functional parts in the Adventurer. Chaplin's real partner here is Eric Campbell, who sadly would not follow the tramp on any more adventures. Campbell died several months after the picture's release. Here however you can see him at his best, as he seemingly relishes playing one of his most unforgivably mean characters. He exhibits a wonderful knowledge of what his job is in the comical scheme of things, brilliantly treading that line between authoritative ogre and buffoon.
And so we end again with that all-important statistic Number of kicks up the arse: 8 (5 for, 3 against)
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